Sports Metric of the Week: Did Jake Arrieta Deserve the 2015 NL Cy Young Award?

On Wednesday of last week, Cubs starter Jake Arrieta was awarded the 2015 National League Cy Young Award. In one of the tightest races in recent memory, Arrieta won the award over two of the Dodgers’ aces: Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.

Arrieta turned in one of the most dominating 2nd half performances by a starter in MLB history, posting an MLB-record 0.75 ERA following the All-Star break.

When analyzing wins and Earned Run Average (ERA), two common metrics to measure a pitcher’s performance, Arrieta and Greinke were the clear front-runners.

Voters evidently put a greater emphasis on Arrieta’s 22 wins (14% greater than Greinke’s 19 wins) over Greinke’s 1.66 ERA (7% lower than Arrieta’s 1.77 Earned Run Average).

To add insult to injury, Arrieta’s Chicago Cubs outlasted Greinke’s Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League playoff race.


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